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Tree No. 1 - August 2019
Tree No. 1 is a lovely, substantial tree. It sits on the edge of a field, adjacent to the pathway. There are three other Wellingtonia in the rear gardens of houses that back onto the field. They are all rather shorter than Tree No. 1 - this may be due to attempts by various owners to restrict their size and growth. As to their origin, it has been suggested that they were planted by a famous Victorian gardener called Miss Ellen Willmot of Little Warley, though at the time of writing this has not been confirmed and may be just a tall story. The park is along St Mary's Lane in Upminster, and also boasts a windmill.

On a visit in March 2009, two of the Giant Redwoods were bursting to the seams with male cones. At first glance it looked like the foliage was unwell, but of course this is the yellow colour of the mass of male cones. Just lightly touching a branch produced a cloud of pollen. Here's hoping for a bumper year for female cones too!

Just over a decade later in August 2019 Tree No. 1 has filled out but might have lost a little height, perhaps it lost its leader in a storm.

Tree No. 1 - December 2007

Tree No. 1 - March 2009

Tree Nos. 2, 3 & 4 - March 2009

Noticeboard - August 2013

Windmill restoration in progress - August 2019
* * * Update - December 2022 and April 2023 * * *
Ray originally contacted us in 2012 after having; "stumbled across your website after many fruitless internet searches to find a conifer identifier that would tell me what species of tree were growing in the field near me."

Ray reported ten years later in 2022; "A few years ago I wrote to you as I had been curious about the trees in the windmill field in Upminster - your website informed me that they were redwoods. Sadly one of those trees was felled today - the most northerly in your list."

That's very sad news indeed. Many decades in the making into one of nature's marvels, something that could have brought pleasure for many centuries to so many, destroyed on the whim of somebody whose own life is just a mere blip in time by comparison. Unfortunately, I've seen a number of great Redwood trees being lost over the last decade or so, usually on the whim of developers (for a few quid more) but often by new homeowners who buy a house with a landmark tree, known by and appreciated by the people of the town, and then they cut it down because it doesn't suit them. Sometimes the people of the town protest against the felling, and just occasionally they win.

The tree that sits in the field, adjacent to the main road, is one that I visit once or twice a year. Not just because it's such a great tree, but sometimes to measure it again, and other times to collect cones. I've found that saplings grown from its seeds are among the strongest and nicest I've grown.

More sad news from Ray in April 2023 who wrote; "As I type this, I can hear the sound of a chainsaw and another of the redwoods is coming down today. Of the original 3 that ran N-S only the southern one will remain. The one at the head of the field is thankfully still there. That is the only one not on private property."

I'm glad to hear that the main tree is still unharmed. All we can do is hopefully make up for the ones that are lost over the years. I'm doing my bit, I have dozens of young seedlings in the greenhouse and garden.

Windmill restored and one Giant Redwood remaining in the back gardens row - April 2023

This shows the orange male cones on the end of the foliage (pollen bearing) and the green / brown egg-sized female cones (seed bearing) on Tree No. 1 - April 2023

Common Names and Latin Name No. Latitude and Longitude OS National Grid Elevation
(above sea-level)
Height Girth Date Measured
Giant Redwood, Wellingtonia
Sequoiadendron giganteum
1 N51.55712
TQ 55683 86635 85ft (25.9m) 25.4m
August 2019
March 2010
December 2007
July 2005
2 N51.55736
TQ 55721 86663 82ft
-- -- --
3 N51.55755
TQ 55727 86684 82ft
15.5m -- March 2010
4 N51.55765
TQ 55732 86696 87ft
11.3m -- March 2010
Girth was measured at 1.5m from ground.

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